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Burt was a syndicated Broadway columnist in New York until he and his late wife, Jane, met and became best friends with Sammy Davis, Jr. and together they wrote Sammy's internationally Best Selling autobiography, YES I CAN. The NY Herald Tribune critic, Maurice Dolbier,called it "One of the most candid, engrossing and important American autobiographies of our time." And Brothers Judd-Audible.com wrote, "..one of the really great autobiographies ever written."
Jane and Burt rented a beach house in Marbella, Spain for 9 months and stayed for 28 years, giving up a rent-controlled apartment on Park Avenue in New York. They traveled the world for two years with the greatest tennis players of the time, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, etc and wrote the novel WORLD CLASS based on the dynamics of the world class athlete. Then, with Sammy, they wrote WHY ME? a sequel to YES I CAN. And, as a result of living in Spain for so long, in a house owned by General Franco's daughter, they wrote the historically valuable HITLER STOPPED BY FRANCO. After Jane's passing of a heart attack in her sleep Burt returned home to the U.S and settled in Los Angeles.
on Oct. 03, 2013 :
Yes I Can is, first, the story of a remarkable entertainer as told to his close friends, Jane and Burt Boyar, in the 1960’s. It is also a frank, painful and intimate exposé of racism as it existed during the lifetime of Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as an insider’s look at the day-to-day lives of the brightest luminaries in show business.
The twenty-first century reader who is sufficiently padded with years will recall with dismay the days of institutionalized segregation. Although it has diminished, racism has by no means vanished and it may well be resurging in our society that is increasingly diverse and polarized. Sammy Davis speaks personally and honestly of the racial attacks coming at him from both white and black societies, beginning with his childhood in Harlem through the Civil Rights era when he was one of the most loved and highest paid entertainers in the world.
Burt Boyar’s uncanny excellence as a writer leaves one marveling at how any author is able to capture such depth of emotion using another man’s voice. Yes I Can is told as much in Sammy Davis’ hip lingo of the Jazz Era as in his extremely articulate English that belies his total lack of formal education. This is a fast-paced story that takes no prisoners and challenges the reader to keep up as the pages fly and insights unfold into the life of a performer without equal.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)